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Food Poison Journal Food Poisoning Outbreaks and Litigation: Surveillance and Analysis

Sprouters Northwest Expands Listeria Recall to Include Wheatgrass and Pea Shoots

Sprouters Northwest is voluntarily recalling all varieties of sprouts products, wheatgrass and pea shoots due to the potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. There have been no illnesses reported to date.

All varieties of sprouts products including 3-Bean Munchie, Alfalfa, Bean, Broccoli, Brocco Sandwich sprouts, Clover, Deli, Spicy; Wheatgrass and Pea Shoots that were distributed through 1/30/2013 in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, Canada through retail stores and food service distribution chain.

The affected products are sold under the Sprouters Northwest, LifeForce and Brassica brand names and are packaged in plastic clamshell containers, plastic cups, plastic trays in 3 oz., 4 oz., 5 oz., and in plastic 1 lb. 2lb, or 5lb. bags. The Best by Dates are including all and up to 2/17/2013. Trader Joe’s Organic Pea Shoots (SKU 92756), packaged in a 4 oz. clamshell offered only in Oregon and Washington state are also affected. The Best by Dates are through 02/16/13. The Best by Date sticker is located in the top right hand corner, front of the package.

The problem was identified through surveillance finished products samples collected at retail locations and at the firm by the Washington State Department of Agriculture. Sprouters Northwest is working with WSDA and the Food & Drug Administration on this recall.